Harriet Tubman Purchase Negotiations Approved by Chattanooga City Council

Reported by: Caitlyn Jones

Edited by: Caitlyn Jones
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Updated: 8/07/2013 9:34 am
        It may not look like much now, but the Berke administration sees potential in the old Harriet Tubman Housing site.
        Mayor Berke looks at that part of town and sees a lot of opportunity and that's what's important.  He sees 35 acres of good developable land to bring jobs to the Chattanooga area," said Berke's Chief of Staff Travis McDonough
        For the most part, council members are on board with Mayor Andy Berkes plan to buy the site.
The 2014 budget allocates approximately $1,000,000 for purchase, out of a $3,000,000 budget for the entire project.
        "That's the best estimate at this time.  The remaining funds will be used to develop the property to make it suitable for marketing to potential employers and potential businesses," said McDonough.
        And yes, that means tearing the whole thing down.
        Community member Patrick Kellogg voiced concern with the plan for East Chattanooga.
        "A covenant needs to be placed on the land because if it's going to be a public benefit purpose from inception to completion, the deed needs to state who's interest it's going to protect," said Kellogg.
        The council voted to allow Berke to begin the bidding process with the Chattanooga Housing authority.
        Council member Ken Smith was the only one against it.
        "Because it was a late add, I am not comfortable with the amount of time I've had to look into it and basically get a grasp of the bigger picture," said Smith.
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